38th annual event attracts sold out field of more than 15,000 entrants; Long Beach community supports runners celebrating personal achievements
LONG BEACH – October 9, 2022 – Back in March, Margaux Curcuru ended up in the medical tent at the finish line of the Los Angeles Marathon, IVs pumping fluids into her body.
“At the time,” said Curcuru, “I didn’t know what I was doing.”
Fast forward nearly seven months later, Curcuru tackled 26.2 miles again and this time she was smiling upon crossing the finish line, winning the 38th running of the Long Beach Marathon in 2 hours, 53 minutes, 21 seconds on Sunday morning. The time was more than a 39-minute improvement over her LA Marathon performance.
There were multiple factors for Curcuru’s big improvement. For one, race day in Long Beach delivered idyllic conditions: a marine layer blocking out the sun and providing cool temperatures.
Secondly, Curcuru, a military lawyer who lives on Edwards Air Force base, dedicated herself to training for the race under a new coach.
“He sends me training every week and I follow it religiously,” said Curcuru, who was born in France. “I didn’t miss a single day, unless I was sick. I think the discipline, the pain, waking up at 5 every morning, having the discipline to follow exactly what he tells me and trusting the training, that was the difference.”
The Long Beach Marathon enjoyed a revival Sunday. Two years ago, the race was held virtually amid the pandemic. Numbers were reduced last year as runners eased back into social gatherings. Sunday was a full-on party scene with a sold-out field of 15,000 runners and walkers hitting the streets in the marathon, half-marathon and 20-mile Bike Tour.
“The energy is awesome the whole course,” said Kaleigh Young, who finished second in the women’s marathon in 3:01. “The students at Long Beach State were out, cheering us on, which is a surprise on Sunday morning. Good for them. The volunteers are awesome. It’s a good vibe the whole time.”
In the men’s marathon, former Cal State Long Beach runners and now roommates Raymon Ornelas and Enrique Villa finished one-two. Running his first marathon, Ornelas won in 2:31:07 with Villa taking second in 2:35:37.
Ornelas graduated last summer and was mostly concerned about his finishing time. Originally his goal was 2:35. But with training going well, he lowered his expectation to 2:30. He began running by himself at Mile 14, made a surge about two miles later and finished running solo.
But he admitted, “The last three miles were brutal. I hit the wall at about Mile 23.”
In the half-marathon, former Cal State Fullerton runner Alyssa Block earned the win in 1:16:27. Nicole Lane of Scottsdale, Ariz., took second in 1:17:19.
“The course was so beautiful, flat and fast,” said Block. “When I had women running with me it was nice. Sometimes I’m alone, so it was nice having somebody pushing me. It’s always nice having competition. That makes it more fun.”
Ayrton Ledesma Fuentes of Azusa won the men’s half marathon in 1:03:25. Mark Huizar finished second in 1:04:01.
For complete results, photos and more, visit RunLongBeach.com.
Image credit: Margaux Curcuru Wins Women’s Marathon (Credit Crash Kamon)
About the Long Beach Marathon
The 2022 Long Beach Marathon and Half Marathon will celebrate 38 years running on the weekend of October 8-9. Race weekend annually attracts thousands of runners with perfect Southern California weather, a flat & fast course, and epic post-race festival at Marina Green along the downtown waterfront. The race returns for its 38th edition year and features two days of races along the Southern California coast, offering runners iconic waterfront views of Shoreline Village and the Queen Mary Hotel. Participants can choose from four different events including the marathon, half marathon, 20-mile Bike Tour, or the Aquarium of the Pacific 5k. For more information about the Long Beach Marathon or to register for the event, visit RunLongBeach.com and follow @LongBeachMarathon on social media.